Derby County manager Paul Warne has admitted that he loved the Anfield crowd singing You’ll Never Walk Alone before last night’s game.
Warne’s side took Liverpool all the way to penalties before Caoimhin Kelleher’s heroics decided the tie. And speaking to RamsTV after the game, the coach reflected on an evening to remember for the League One club.
“It was a proper game of football wasn’t it, I loved it. Obviously, I’m not a Liverpool fan but I like them singing their song before the game, I got a bit goose-pimply,” smiled Warne.
“Our fans were singing all the time, it didn’t look like there was a seat spare and both teams gave everything they had, I can’t knock either team for that, and it took penalties to separate us. So, in that respect, as an evening of my life and hopefully of Derby fans and all the players, it was something to remember. It just didn’t have the cherry on the cake. If we’d have ended up winning it, it would have been amazing.”
It’s credit to Liverpool that a mid-week cup game against lower league opposition still fills the stadium. And credit to Derby for travelling in such numbers, too. A proper cup-tie.
Memories made, but a forgettable night all-round
To be fair here, it did sound as though most of the noise was coming from the Derby end last night. And well it might. They are in the third division now, after all. These kinds of trips don’t come around too often for them anymore.
But that shouldn’t discount the Anfield crowd, either. They’d have travelled to the ground not knowing the line-up Jurgen Klopp would go for.
When the team news broke, and the Reds eleven had an average age of less than twenty-two, they could have been a little deflated. And maybe they were.
Despite that, they continued to encourage the young players throughout the game. When the energy dropped and the youngsters needed a lift, the crowd were there.
Obviously, it wasn’t as ferocious as it could be at Anfield, but these players will remember their night forever.
Klopp gave first starts to five players, handing out two debuts of any kind in the process. Although it wasn’t a particularly memorable night in general, it’ll be a great experience for those players to have had at Anfield.
As for Warne and the Derby players, it’s a long route back from League One. But after their financial issues of last year, they look to be back on track.